Department of Homeland Security at the Sept. 25 USD Career Fair

On Friday, September 21, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made a decision to confirm their participation at the annual fall USD Career Fair, and then withdrew their application on Monday, September 24. There have been concerns raised by members of our campus community about how and why DHS would have a presence at a USD Career Fair. This also has raised a perception that some of our most vulnerable students could have been put in jeopardy as a result of a DHS presence on campus.

The following FAQ is intended to answer questions that have been raised on both sides of the issue and to provide better context for our campus community.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

To some individuals in our community, DHS on our campus appears to conflict with our mission and values as a Catholic university. How would USD ensure the safety and security of our most vulnerable students?  

At times, being a welcoming and inclusive community requires a thoughtful and delicate balance that both recognizes the need to protect the best interest of our most vulnerable community members while also, as in this case, to provide students with access to all available career options and trust them to make their own career decisions without restrictions.

As Changemakers, USD students are perhaps better equipped than others to work for government agencies to confront internal organizational challenges and help to create positive change from within the organization. 

Federal agencies, including DHS, have recently participated in other career fairs at universities across the country, and the DHS representatives expressed a particular interest in our students who would like to focus their careers in areas such as cybersecurity, finance and government administration.  

With regard to caring for our most vulnerable community members, the administration has been proactive in confronting immigration policy decisions that strike at the very heart of our values as a Catholic university. Last year, we hosted a number of forums encouraging open dialogue on immigration issues. We also put in place a number of services for our DACA and immigrant students and developed a webpage dedicated to addressing the issues they may face. Our immigration task force has continued to work tirelessly on behalf of our most vulnerable community members to monitor the political environment and offer counsel and advice on how best to serve our students and their families.

We also hold ourselves accountable to our Culture of Care Principles related to U.S. Immigration Policy and Enforcement. These principles include our commitment to not share information about a student’s or employee’s immigration status or assist with immigration enforcement activities with law enforcement agencies except in response to a subpoena, warrant, or other legal mandate, where exigent circumstances exist, or where the student or employee voluntarily consents to the disclosure.

Several of our task force members were also proactive in anticipating the sensitive nature of potentially having DHS on our campus, as they reached out to our DACA students to offer assurances of safety and solidarity.

Was the Department of Homeland Security invited by USD to attend its annual fall Career Fair?

No. The University of San Diego did not invite the Department of Homeland Security to the USD Career Fair.

How are employers selected for attending the fall USD Career Fair?

We have a consistent process in place for employers interested in participating in a USD Career Fair. Interested employers fill out an online registration form and pay a registration fee. 

Why would USD allow an agency like DHS to recruit students on our campus?

While DHS made the decision to withdraw their registration to the USD Career Fair, they met the standard requirement for employers that wish to register to participate, just like every other federal and local law enforcement agency attending the USD Career Fair, including our military branches, the FBI, CIA, DEA and other agencies. These agencies come to our campus to share career options with our students, and many of our students are interested in exploring career options within the federal government.

Who can we contact with additional questions or concerns related to this recent issue?

Those with additional questions or concerns on this topic can reach out to members of our immigration task force or our Career Development Center.